Planning ahead is necessary if you wish to avoid stress and low quality work in the face of imminent deadlines. An excellent strategy for success is to divide the preparation of the essay into phases, estimate the time involved for each, and use these estimates to create a plan.
The Assignment Task Checklist located in Resources can help you identify major phases and tasks associated with writing an essay, and help you estimate the time required for each.
Just as there is no fixed linear order to the preparation of an essay, neither is there a fixed formula for the amount of time to spend on each phase. (See the Writing Strategies module.) You will need to consider your own process and examine your assignments separately to gauge how much time to allot to each phase in your initial plan. As you begin working on an essay, return to your plan regularly and update the estimates according to your progress.